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Roman authorities liked to play the Greek cities against one another[70] – something of which Dio of Prusa was fully aware: [B]y their public acts [the Roman governors] have branded you as a pack of fools, yes, they treat you just like children, for we often offer children the most trivial things in place of things of greatest worth [...] In place of justice, in place of the freedom of the cities from spoliation or from the seizure of the private possessions of their inhabitants, in place of their refraining from insulting you [...] your governors hand you titles, and call you 'first' either by word of mouth or in writing; that done, they may thenceforth with impunity treat you as being the very last! David H. Higgins in his notes to Purgatorio X l. 75 says: "Pope Gregory the Great (d. 604) was held to have swayed the justice of God by prayer ('his great victory'), releasing Trajan's soul from Hell, who, resuscitated, was converted to Christianity. [169] Reliance solely on loans to great landowners (in Veleia, only some 17 square kilometers were mortgaged)[170] restricted funding sources even further. [192] Commercial activity in second century Mesopotamia seems to have been a general phenomenon, shared by many peoples within and without the Roman Empire, with no sign of a concerted Imperial policy towards it. The Greeks, though, had their own memories of independence – and a commonly acknowledged sense of cultural superiority – and, instead of seeing themselves as Roman, disdained Roman rule. Trajan's Bridge over the Danube River was the longest arch bridge in the world for over 1000 years. Pliny – who seems to deliberately avoid offering details that would stress personal attachment between Trajan and the "tyrant" Domitian – attributes to him, at the time, various (and unspecified) feats of arms. [59] What the Greek oligarchies wanted from Rome was, above all, to be left in peace, to be allowed to exert their right to self-government (i.e., to be excluded from the provincial government, as was Italy) and to concentrate on their local interests. Amid the periods of turmoil in the history of the Roman Empire came the era of the Five Good Emperors. Alan Bowman, Peter Garnsey, Averil Cameron, eds., Meléndez, Javier Bermejo, Santiago Robles Esparcia, and Juan M. Campos Carrasco. They expounded on matters ranging from his domestic life to senatorial debates. [48] The whole idea was that Trajan wielded autocratic power through moderatio instead of contumacia – moderation instead of insolence. In 79 A.D., the younger Pliny witnessed the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, with its “dense black cloud ... spreading over the earth like a flood.” Sadly, his uncle perished in the eruption. He had to renounce claim to some regions of his kingdom, return all Roman runaways (most of them technical experts), and surrender all his war machines. Earlier campaigns against the Dacians as well as against Germanic tribes across the Danube by Domitian had met with some success, but the situation had been largely left unsettled. Notable structures include the Baths of Trajan, Trajan's Forum, Trajan's Column, Trajan's Bridge, Alcántara Bridge, Porto di Traiano of Portus, the road and canal around the Iron Gates (see conquest of Dacia), and possibly the Alconétar Bridge. Trajan died on 9 August A.D. 117, after suffering a stroke, in the Cilician town of Selinus. [107] The treaty seems to have allowed Roman troops the right of passage through the Dacian kingdom in order to attack the Marcomanni, Quadi and Sarmatians. Evidence of this comes from a marble slab discovered near Caput Bovis, the site of a Roman fort. 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